Getting married in Antigua

He asked, you said yes, the date is set, the tickets are booked and your bags are packed. The beautiful shores of Antigua have beckoned you to be the location of your nuptials.

The first stop on your road to marital bliss is the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs on Nevis Street assuming that you have not been in Antigua for at least 15 days you will need to request a Special License. Make sure you bring a valid passport or birth certificate and a valid state issued picture ID. If divorced you will need to have an Original Decree Absolute, which includes the seal of the court where the Decree is issued. A widow/widower needs to present a marriage and death certificate. If under eighteen, written parental consent must be presented. Don’t put away your bag yet you will also need to pay the Special License fee of US$150. There are a few forms you both have to put your John Hancock on, then off to the Registrar’s office on Queen Elizabeth Highway to book a marriage officer. Marriage officers can perform a ceremony between 6.00 am and 8.00pm on any day which you pick. You need to pay US$37 to register and US$100 for the officer. Don’t forget you need to have two witnesses to solemnize your nuptials.

Ok, the boring part of it is over, after you tuck those important documents away the fun begins. If you are doing a wedding package with your hotel everything is probably being taken care of. So your biggest worry would be whether to have a Swedish or Hot stone massage.

Planning your own destination wedding in Antigua presents you with limitless options. A beach, hillside overlooking the quiet countryside, a mega yacht or tropical garden, choosing a location is quite a task. A church wedding would require you to contact the church before hand, many churches require pre-nuptial counseling, keep this in mind.

Add an Antiguan twist or two, how about being serenaded by a steel panist (contact the Ministry of Culture for suggestions) or a bouquet of exotic locally grown flowers. In case of any last minute outfit mishaps the ladies at the Diamond Bridal store on St Mary Street maybe able to help you avert disaster. If you are feeling a bit out of the box, consider a trash the dress session with Vanessa Hall or Shelly Chadburn. Oh come on! You wont be wearing the dress again, why not indulge in a fashion shoot, wade in a few feet of water, straddle a horse or chase each other through the rainforest in your dress! It’s paradise you can afford to do something out of the ordinary. The end product of these shoots will be a conversation piece for months after.

Getting married in Antigua will leave you with a myriad of fond memories, gorgeous photos and a yearning to return for your first anniversary!

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